Stop smoking and lose weight if you want an operation, says NHS

Smokers and people with a body mass index of 30 or above are being asked to "lose weight and/or stop smoking" before they are referred for surgery from November.

The plan has been announced by Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group.

It is the NHS organisation that monitors and coordinates the delivery of health services on behalf of everyone living in the area.

Dr Ruth Grabham, from the group, said along with the "long-term health benefits", hospital stays for patients "may also be shorter".

She said: "Stopping smoking and achieving a healthy weight before routine surgery helps limit avoidable complications, improves surgical outcomes and aids the recovery process.''

The CCG is planning to extend the scheme to other types of non-urgent surgery in 2018.

A spokesman said: ''People living in Bath and North East Somerset are invited to help shape new plans to tackle obesity and smoking, by encouraging patients who need routine surgery to quit smoking and/or lose weight beforehand.

''The proposals for a new 'health optimisation' scheme will see smokers receive help to quit, and obese patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above supported to lose weight, before their surgery.

''Studies show that patients who succeed in adopting a healthier lifestyle have a reduced risk of complications during and after their operation, recover more quickly and experience long-term health benefits.

''The scheme is in line with NHS Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group's (BaNES CCG) goal to support everyone to make healthier lifestyle choices and reduce preventable ill-health.''